This weekend, Kman and I decided we would jump in the car and make one of our typical razzoos - which means we usually don't have a prescribed destination, just a general direction of where we want to head out in. Since my mom has been so ill, I have not left town for any extended period of time. But, taking the wise advice of a friend, we decided Mom was stable enough for us to take an overnighter and entrust her to the care of a daughter.
Saturday lunchtime found us headed west on I-20. Took the turnoff to Comanche on Hwy 16 and followed it to Fredericksburg. I should have taken more photos of that leg of the trip because the wildflowers were simply gorgeous. Yes, bluebonnets have long gone, but there were Mexican hats, purple thistle, red sage, wild daisies and verbena, and more. Fields blanketed in softly undulating reds, yellows, purples, and orange. A stop in San Saba at Boney and Claud's Pecan Emporium (yes, a play on words "Bonnie and Clyde") filled us up with praline sugared pecans and peppered beef jerky for the road. Of course, every small town in Texas ( well, nearly every one) has a Dairy Queen, so Dr. Peppers were in plentiful supply as well.
We got into Fredericksburg kind of late, and by the time we found a suitable motel, nearly all of the little Main street shops were closed. We managed to find a few that were open, but it was probably a good thing most were shut up - I can't resist the cute stuff. The slideshow I embedded has a few of the storefronts pictured - though several aren't very good. Who knew you can get yellow ducky bathtub toys in much more shapes than, well, yellow duckies! ( See the Blues Brothers bathtub toys)
We ate dinner at the Auslander Biergarten; I had a reuben with potato pancakes, Kman had a bratwurst kraut dog and we shared a half-order of beer-battered fried mushrooms (good thing we only ordered the half - a full order would have been enough to feed 5 people easy). Washed 'em down with a couple of steins of Warsteiner Dunkel on draft. Those fried mushrooms were, to quote the waitress, "terrific". Yes, indeedy.
Then, the next morning we feasted on fresh-from-the-oven fruit and sausage kolaches. (Do you see a pattern here? Overeaters Anonymous has me as a poster child now.)
Drove out the backroads to Junction. We may have to rethink our retirement dreams - Junction is simply beautiful; a small town deep in a valley with the Llano river flowing beside it. No wonder it's called the Land of Living Waters. The Llano River is unbelieveable clear and blue.
From Junction we headed out another small backroad towards Menard, going through a little ghost town - Cleo. See the photos of the old postoffice in the slideshow - my photo looks just like the linked page one!
Menard had the most interesting looking cemetery - Pioneer Cemetery, but we didn't take the time to do our usual cemetery discoveries. Good reason to go back. Another great reason to jaunt back to Menard - we ate at a typical little small town cafe, Ojedas, for lunch. We both were gobbling up the freshly homemade salsa and chips. The salsa was superb - not too hot, not too thick and sweet - just perfecto. We ordered the carne guisda plate. Oh buddy, it was good enough to dab a little behind your ear to smell later.
From Menard we took a side jaunt to the ruins of Presidio San Saba and historic Fort McKavett.
Then, we had to boogie on back to Cowtown. Got home this evening around 6:00 PM. Several of the kids stopped by to wish me a happy birthday. I am obviously much loved by my kids ;-) Got a sinfully rich Black Forrest cake, some Bert's Bees goodies, and this little jewel which I am still playing with!
Enjoy the slideshow - hope it doesn't take too long to load. (You can use the tool bar on the bottom to pause a photo and then clicking on it gives you a larger verions at the web album.)